ASCO`s sustainable development principles
The concept of sustainable development of ASCO provides for the inexhaustible, renewable and sustainable use of natural resources bestowed on us by nature, their transmission to future generations, as well as ensuring high social welfare, protection of stakeholders’ interests and sustainable development of the Company.
ASCO understands the following responsibilities and obligations in respect of the environmental aspect of sustainable development and adheres to the following principles in its activities:
- Organization of the Company’s activities on environmental protection in accordance with the requirements of international standards;
- Prevention of accidents and keeping the number thereof to a minimum;
- Proper management of liquid, solid and gaseous wastes (emissions) generated on ships, as well as on coastal facilities and prevention of their impact on the sea, land and atmosphere;
- Ensuring efficient use of clean and potable water resources, while taking into account the limitation thereof;
- Compliance with the requirements of international standards to keep the negative anthropogenic impact on marine ecosystems to a minimum and protect biodiversity when using seawater for various technological purposes, including the use of seawater for ballast systems;
- Effective and efficient use of various energy resources, including electricity and fuel;
- Management of greenhouse gas emissions and keeping them at a minimum level in accordance with the requirements of the Determined National Level Obligations submitted by the Republic of Azerbaijan and the MARPOL 73/78 Convention;
- Implementation of more environmentally friendly and advanced techniques and technologies by means of supporting innovations.
As a shipping company with 100% of shares owned by the state, ASCO recognizes its social responsibility and understands that social factors are an integral part of successful governance. The social aspects of the Sustainable Development Policy of the Company encompass the following principles:
- Organization of the Company’s activities in the sphere of occupational health and safety, as well as labor safety in accordance with the requirements of international standards;
- Achieving efficiency in the field of human resource management, ensuring transparency, creating equal opportunities for all employees;
- Continuous improvement of the personnel welfare;
- Training of strong and ready for modern challenges local professionals who are able to work with constantly upgrading equipment and technologies, aware of the requirements of international standards and capable to apply them in the work process;
- Creating a healthy work environment that provides equal opportunities for all employees to strengthen their professional level and achieve career development regardless of their race, religion or other affiliations;
- Ensuring freedom of speech, free expression of opinion and position, fair decision-making in the Company;
- Ensuring full compliance with the relevant requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, as well as the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan;
- Forbidding to cooperate with all parties engaged in activities violating the principles of international sustainability and business ethics, including use of child or forced labor, corruption, human rights violations and other such negative circumstances;
- Providing welfare assistance, at the expense of internal funds as possible, to orphans, low-income families, refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as people with disabilities;
- Supporting youth;
- Propagation of the seafaring profession in the country;
- Supporting various social projects implemented in the country;
- Supporting training and education of personnel;
- Strengthening personnel satisfaction and commitment to the company.
The economic aspects of ASCO’s Sustainable Development Policy include the following principles:
- Creating long-term economic value for the benefit of shareholders, as well as society;
- Establishment of a modern shipping company which operates efficiently and ensures sustainable development;
- Implementation of a leading international corporate governance system that ensures transparency and efficiency in operations;
- The continuous renewal of the fleet and its maintenance at a level meeting modern requirements;
- In cooperation with business partners and associates, offering favorable conditions to customers with the objective of attracting additional transit cargo to transport routes passing through Azerbaijan and providing high-quality specialized offshore services to the oil and gas industry;
- Ensuring customer satisfaction and maintaining the image of a reliable partner;
- Ensuring sustainable development using cost optimization, elimination of overhead costs, efficient use of revenues and improvement of financial condition;
- Expansion and diversification of business activities by proper managing the risks, and taking into account the social and environmental aspects;
- Supporting local suppliers, as well as local production and services for the sake of the development of the country’s economy.
ASCO is guided by the above principles, responsibilities and obligations in environmental, social and economic aspects and aims to ensure compliance and implementation thereof in practice by taking appropriate measures. ASCO’s Sustainability Policy serves to ensure the continuity of the development of Azerbaijani fleet, which is considered the wealth of our country, and to use this wealth for the sustainable development of our country and pass it on to young seafarers at a decent level.
ASCO’s commitments and contributions to the Global Sustainable Development Goals
17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) until 2030 were adopted by the countries of the world and entered into force in January 2016 at the United Nations Summit held on September 25, 2015. The Republic of Azerbaijan has also joined the approved Sustainable Development Goals and undertaken relevant commitments. As the country’s largest shipping company, ASCO recognizes that it can directly or indirectly influence all Sustainable Development Goals through its activities and value chain and understands its responsibility in achieving the goals set by our state. By coordinating its activities with the Sustainable Development Goals, ASCO contributes to the implementation thereof and ASCO will continue to integrate these SDGs into its business operations and the entire value chain by continuously carrying out works in this direction in the future.
Figure. Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):